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Dr Marie-Claire Barnet, PhD University of California, Davis

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 43433
Fax: +44 (0) 191 33 43421
Room number: A44, Elvet Riverside I

Contact Dr Marie-Claire Barnet (email at

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Language, Literature & the Arts: Available for media contact about: -20th-21st c French literature, critical theory -Visual culture: contemporary French artists


After studying in France (Université de Bourgogne, Dijon) and the U.S. (Penn University, Philadelphia, and University of California, Davis), I went on working in the U.K.(Edinburgh, St Andrews, Southampton Institute) and joined Durham University in 1999.

My research background is broadly in 20th-21st c. French studies, psychoanalysis, and visual culture.

I have worked extensively on surrealism and gender, and more recently on contemporary writing, 'l'extrême contemporain', with a particular interest for 'récits de vie', autobiography/fiction, linked to photography, and art in general.

My latest and forthcoming publications focus, for instance, on the fantastic or a 'new realism', as portrayed in Marie NDiaye's fiction, and the concept of space, as used in contemporary literature and visual arts by women. A special issue of 'L'Esprit créateur' I co-edit will be around the film maker Agnès Varda and other major artists on the artistic scene today in France. I am currently finishing a book on the representation of childhood in contemporary literature, photography, film and art installations. Another ongoing and long term project is focused on Derrida and the media, with further work at the IMEC archives centre to be pursued.

I will be happy to supervise a wide range of research projects on 20th-21st c. French studies.

Research Interests

  • 20th Century French Literature and Visual arts. Surrealism. Autobiography. Word and Image Studies.
  • Contemporary Writers and Artists
  • Critical Theory, Derrida.
  • Gender Studies & Psychoanalysis

Selected Publications

Books: edited

  • Barnet, Marie-Claire & Jordan, Shirley (2011). L'Esprit Créateur (Special issue; 51(1). Watch This Space: Women's Conceptualisations of Space in Contemporary French Film and Visual Art. Baltimore MD: John Hopkins University Press.
  • Barnet, Marie-Claire & Jordan, Shirley (2010). Dalhousie French Studies (93): Women and Space. Dalhousie University.
  • Barnet, Marie-Claire. & Welch, Edward. (2007). Affaires de famille: The Family in Contemporary French Culture and Theory. Faux Titre 292. Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi.
  • Barnet, Marie-Claire., Robertson, Eric. & Saint, Nigel. (2006). Robert Desnos: Surrealism in the Twenty-First Century. Modern French Identities 58. Oxford: Peter Lang.

Books: sections

  • Barnet, Marie-Claire. (2002). La Mort de la mère de l'auteur droit de réponses de Jean Rouaud. In French fiction in the 1990s. Hutton, Margaret-Anne. Nottingham: Nottingham French Studies. 41.1: 49-59.

Edited works: contributions

  • Barnet, M-C (2006). L'Amour flou: Mansour and (Fe)male Desires. In Crossings/Frontiers of Surrealism. Adamowicz, Elza Oxford/New York: Peter Lang.
  • Barnet, M-C (2005). Exquises esquisses by Gisèle and Mario Prassinos: The craftswoman, the writer and her brother. In On Verbal/Visual Cultures: Word & Image Interactions IV. Heusser, Martin, Hoek, Leo, Schoell-Glass, Charlotte & Scott, David Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi. 193-205.
  • Barnet, M-C (2004). Louise la Momotte: jeux et enjeux autobiographiques dans les écrits de Louise Bourgeois. In Gravida. Centre d'anthropologie littéraire de Paris VII.: 1: 17-30.

Essays in edited volumes

  • Barnet, Marie-Claire (2013). Off Limits: Trans-Border Land and Language in Marie Darrieussecq. In Experiment and Experience: Women’s Writing in France 2000-2010. Rye, Gill & Damlé, Amaleena Oxford: Peter Lang. 191-209.
  • Barnet, Marie-Claire. (2009). ‘‘Espèce de vilaine fée’ ou comment les esprits revinrent à Eve Brulard la sorcière dans l’œuvre de Marie NDiaye’. In Redefining the Real The Fantastic in Contemporary French and Francophone Women’s Writing. Hutton, Margaret-Anne & ed. Oxford: Peter Lang. Modern French Identities, 81: 225-244.
  • Barnet, Marie-Claire (2009). 'Déroute d’un Autoportrait en vert (mère): vers l’errance de Marie NDiaye'. In Marie NDiaye: l’étrangeté à l’œuvre. Asibong, Andrew & Jordan, Shirley Villeneuve-d'Ascq Revue des Sciences Humaines, Presses Universitaires du Septentrion. Revue des Sciences Humaines 293: 153-170.
  • Barnet, M-C (2005). The Undutiful Daughter on Fire: Régine Detambel's La Verrière. In L'Esprit créateur. Rye, Gill Minnesota: University of Minnesota. Spring 2005: 16-27.
  • Barnet, Marie-Claire. (2003). Neither an Odyssey nor a Testament: Drifting with Jacques Derrida and Catherine Malabou. In Phototextualities: Intersections of Photography and Narrative. Hughes, Alex. & Noble, Andrea. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. 201-217.
  • Barnet, Marie-Claire. (2002). Anatomical Writing: Blasons d'un corps masculin, L'Ecrivaillon and La Ligne âpre by Régine Detambel. In Women's Writing in Contemporary France: New Writers, New Literatures in the 1990s. Rye, Gill. & Worton, Michael. Manchester: Manchester University Press. 93-105.
  • Barnet, M-C (2000). L'Art radiophonique: Deharme et Desnos. In Robert Desnos pour l'an 2000. Dumas, Marie-Claire & Conley, Kate Paris: Gallimard. 25-36.

Journal papers: academic

  • Barnet, Marie-Claire (2011). 'Elles-Ils Islands': Cartography of Lives and Deaths by Agnès Varda. L'Esprit Créateur 51(1): 97-111.
  • Barnet, Marie-Claire (2010). Etat des lieux et de la banlieue: de Batz à Bobigny par Marie Desplechin. Dalhousie French Studies 93(Special Issue): 109-121.
  • Barnet, M-C (2005). Sibylle Lacan ou la traversée des miroirs: (auto)portraits de famille. Gradiva VII(2): 105-138.
  • Barnet, Marie-Claire. (2003). To Lise Deharme's lighthouse le phare de Neuilly, a forgotten surrealist review. French studies 57(3): 323-334.
  • Barnet, M-C (2000). Les Albums de famille d'Hélène Cixous. Interfaces (Dijon) 17 119-134 17: 119-134.
  • Barnet, M-C (1999). Ecrire, disent-elles: la vocation littéraire dans L'Amant de Duras et Enfance de Sarraute. Dalhousie French Studies 48: 85-98.


  • Barnet, M (1998). La Femme cent sexes ou les genres communicants: Deharme, Mansour, Prassinos. Bern, Berlin, Frankfurt/M., New York, Paris, Wien: Peter Lang.

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